In Malaysia, proposed constitutional amendment would allow Sarawak state law to decide the definition of "native"

By Sharon Ling, 15 October
City of Kuching, Sarawak (photo credit: BERNAMA)
City of Kuching, Sarawak (photo credit: BERNAMA)
Sarawak will have the power to decide the definition of "native" or indigenous people through state laws if a proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution is approved. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the amendment would seek to remove the definition of ethnic groups deemed native to Sarawak in Article 161A. Clause 7 of the Article lists 28 ethnic groups as indigenous to Sarawak for the purpose of the definition of "native". "But there are more ethnic groups in the state. For example, the Selakau are not listed in the Federal Constitution. "We will amend it so that the power is given to the state to define who is a Sarawak native," he told a media gathering here on Friday (Oct 15). Wan Junaidi said the amendment would also pave the way for children of mixed marriages to be defined as native as long as one of the parents is a Sarawak native. [...] He added that the Bill to amend the Constitution was scheduled for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 25 and second reading for debate on Oct 28.
Read the full article here: The Star

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